Posted by: Thomas Richard | August 6, 2015

Bishops Standing Firm

Here are only two examples, but they are great encouragements for me personally.  Thank you, all faithful and courageous bishops, who are standing fast on the Rock when so many in the world are sinking in sand.

Bishop in North Dakota breaks off Church ties with Boy Scouts over new … policy

Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck, North Dakota has ordered all parishes and schools in the diocese to end their ties with the Boys Scouts of America, after the Boy Scouts changed their longstanding policy to allow openly homosexual adult leaders.
“I regret my decision but, in conscience as the chief shepherd of the Diocese of Bismarck, I cannot permit our Catholic institutions to accept and participate directly or indirectly in any organization, which has policies and methods, which contradict the authoritative moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” the bishop said.
(Catholic World News – August 05, 2015.)

Another example on the same theme, concerning a woman “director of religious studies” at a Pennsylvania Catholic school:

It’s beginning to feel like every week brings a new story about the firing of an LGBT employee from a Catholic institution.
The most recent well-publicized termination happened earlier this month at Waldron Mercy Academy in Philadelphia. The school declined to renew the contract of Margie Winters, the school’s director of religious studies, when it came to light that she is in a same-sex marriage.
(7/29/2015, National Catholic Reporter)

Archbishop Chaput commended the school for its action:

Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief. There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this. It’s a simple matter of honesty.

I’m very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church. They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. 
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Yes, the Church has the theology right. From the Catholic Catechism:

Chastity and homosexuality

CCC 2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,<Cf. Gen 191-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10> tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” [CDF, Persona humana 8] They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

CCC 2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

CCC 2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

I pray that every bishop in the country follow the lead, and leadership, in this matter of Catholic sexual morality set here by such bishops and archbishops. The Church has the theology exactly right: persons battling same-sex attraction deserve our compassion and our help, that they may live righteous and honorable lives. Persons struggling against any temptations of any kind – including sexual temptations of any kind – need the strength that God offers! But no person needs or deserves “enablers” who encourage him in any way, to go ahead and do what is wrong when he is tempted to do so! “Enabling” is not love – it is the opposite of love – such “enabling” is leading a soul into temptation.

Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. Amen


  1. I agree with this blog and I certainly hope that all the bishops will see that their dioceses comply.
    Betty Norris

  2. Thomas, I’m responding to your comments. I read the ND bishops’ stand this morning and was very gratified in faith and join you in praise of their action. I know our Bishop in SC is a long time promoter of the Boy Scouts and see that he waiting to see that the churches will be able to choose leaders according to Church teaching. We need to continue to pray for all our shepherds. Praying for their courage, Linda Priest

  3. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks for sharing these encouraging examples of Bishops holding firm. I certainly agree with Betty in hoping all Bishops will comply, and guide their dioceses to comply, with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives a clearer perspective than misnterpretations we might read and hear elsewhere. Thanks for highlighting Bishop Kagin and Archbishop Chaput who are holding firm. May many more of our Bishops let the Light of Christ shine through them in this dark world.

    Members of the Church, the Body of Christ, are called to follow Christ, her Head in His compassion for sinners, always pointing to God’s Way of Holiness and away from sin. By God’s Grace, every sinner can hear Christ, say, as He said to the repentant woman : “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more” (John 8:11)

    Let us pray for one another and for the world to which Christ sends us, with His Good News!

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